Digital scrapbooking is a great way to preserve memories and create something beautiful at the same time. If you have always wanted to try digital scrapbooking but didn’t know where to start, this blog post is for you!
We will discuss why a graphics tablet is good, plus give you some tips on how to use one with your computer for digital scrapbooking that will help make your experience more enjoyable and successful.
What is a graphics tablet?
A graphics tablet is a device that allows you to draw and paint digitally on a computer. You can use your fingers or a stylus pen as the drawing tool, which gives artists more precision than if they were using a mouse alone.
When you move the pen over the pen tablet, the computer registers it as a drawing on the screen.
Most graphics tablets are pressure sensitive so that the intensity of your strokes can be changed depending on how hard you push down with the pen or stylus. This is helpful for creating textures, patterns and gradients, which digital scrapbooking often requires!
Some of the advantages include increased control over how thick an object is drawn by the pen being pressure sensitive. This allows you to make thicker or thinner lines, heavier marks or light, fine detail just using the pressure of the nib.
Using a graphics tablet for digital art is more natural than using a mouse, since it mimics the way we use a pen or pencil.
A graphics tablet is also more ergonomic because you can rest your hand on the drawing surface which takes pressure off of your wrist and arm muscles compared to using a mouse.
You won’t have to be hunched over for hours at the computer making digital scrapbook and be in pain afterwards.
Why should you use a graphics tablet for digital scrapbooking?
If you want to move from traditional crafting, a graphics tablet is the most straight-forward way to get started. With a graphics tablet, you can digitally scrapbook without the stress or mess of traditional scrapbooks.
Instead of worrying about cutting pictures and sticking them together, you just need to open up your favorite digital scrapbooking program on your computer and get started making art!
It’s incredibly easy: Draw with one hand and click through an interface with the pen, or use the keyboard to add text.
The pen pressure sensitivity on your graphics tablet allows you to easily control how light or heavy you want the lines of your drawing; this is an important aspect when using pens which create different thicknesses in their strokes.
A graphics tablet also relieves the need to collect lots of materials, pens, paints and supplies. Everything is digital and there are lots of places where you can get free designs, images, fonts and color palettes to improve your designs.
It is also easy to undo mistakes. You can just press undo and try again, resize the item you just placed on the design, or delete it all and start over again.
A pen tablet will also help you create more expressive projects with gradients, blending, textures and effects to really bring your scrapbooking designs to life!
You are no longer limited by your supplies, with Adobe Photoshop you can make what ever you imagine!
How can you use a graphics tablet for digital scrapbooking?
The best way to get started with using your graphics tablet is by downloading some free apps or trials from the Internet (see the Learn Digital Scrapbooking without buying software video below).
Many of them will allow you to import pictures, drawings and other images into their program so that you don’t have to start over every time when working on your latest piece.
Using a graphics tablet, you can draw, slice, rearrange and resize your images with precision and accuracy while still being able to zoom in and out. Using the tools in the app you choose, you will be able to collage together your text and images to create great designs.
You need to start thinking in layers. Apps like Adobe Photoshop allow you to work on different layers in the same image. So you might have a layer for your background texture, one for each of the photographs you are collaging and one more for the text on top.
Each layer will have its own filters, effects, opacity, settings and tools so that you can work on specific parts of your scrapbooking project.
How to set up your pen tablet for scrapbooking.
One thing to stress is to make sure you follow the installation instructions.
The software drivers should be installed before plugging in the tablet, because it will interfere with installation if it is plugged into your computer first.
You can also download the latest drivers from the manufacturers website (or it may prompt you to do so, once you have installed any drivers that come on CD).
Then, open the app you want to use (Adobe Photoshop is great for digital scrapbooking) and go to the settings (in Photoshop, it’s under File > Settings). Here you can select your tablet as the input device from one of its tabs.
Yay, your graphics tablet is now set up for digital scrapbooking!
The “active area” on your graphics tablet will replicate your computer screen. When you place your pen on the right hand side of the tablet, the mouse cursor will jump to the right hand side of the screen.
You don’t need a larger graphics tablet if you have a large screen either. The active area will match your monitor size.
Things to consider when buying a graphics tablet – do you need a Wacom tablet?
There are not too many things to consider when buying a graphics tablet, but here are some of the main considerations:
There is not universal size for graphics tablets. Some people prefer smaller sizes in order to bring their computer and the tablet together while others like larger sizes if they have more space on their desk or want more drawing surface.
Some people also find it easier to draw on a larger tablet or one with a built in screen.
If you are doing very fine detailed digital drawings or paintings, you may want to invest in a graphics tablet that has more pressure sensitivity levels.
The pen will respond better to your drawing style, but 1024 levels is perfect for scrapbooking.
Some people prefer Wacom tablets while others like Huion or Yiynova and still others swear by Aiptek.
There are pros and cons of all brands so it really boils down to personal preference (and money) at the end of the day.
Some devices come with free software to make the digital scrapbooking process easier.
Look for drawing tablets with more than just a free trial included.
Read our list of Wacom graphics tablet reviews.
Resources on how to start digital scrapbooking with a graphics tablet.
There are many websites, blogs and YouTube channels about digital art and scrapbooking. These resources on how to start digital scrapbooking with a graphics tablet will help you.
This is a quick list of some great places to visit and find out how to scrapbook with a graphics tablet.
Websites and articles – learn the basics
- The Ultimate Guide to Digital Scrapbooking
- Digital Scrapbooking Basics
- Digital Scrapbooking for Beginners